Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/15/2010
Publication Date: 5/31/2011
Citation: Fery, R.L., Thies, J.A. 2011. ‘Truhart-NR’, A Root-knot Nematode Resistant, Pimento-type Pepper. HortScience. 46(5):815-816.
Interpretive Summary: ‘Truhart Perfection’ was once a predominant pimento-type pepper cultivar for the food processing industry and it is still recommended for use by specialty crop growers in several southern states. However, ‘Truhart Perfection’ is highly susceptible to root-knot nematodes, a major pest of peppers throughout the southern United States. In 2000, efforts were initiated at the U.S. Vegetable Laboratory, Charleston, SC, to incorporate the dominant root-knot nematode resistance gene (N) into the classical pimento-type “Perfection” genetic background. These efforts resulted in the October 2009 release of the root-knot nematode resistant, pimento-type cultivar Truhart-NR. The newly released cultivar is recommended for use by both home gardeners and commercial growers. It is recommended particularly for use by organic farmers and growers of specialty crops because these segments of the pepper industry do not have easy access to alternative production sites or the needed nematicides and nematicide application equipment.
Technical Abstract: Efforts to develop a high-yielding, pimento-type pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) cultivar that is highly resistant to root-knot nematodes were completed with the official release of Truhart-NR on October 20, 2009. The new cultivar is homozygous for the dominant N gene that conditions a high level of resistance to the southern root-knot nematode [Meloidogyne incognita (Chitwood) Kofoid and White], the peanut root-knot nematode [M. arenaria (Neal) Chitwood], and the tropical root-knot nematode [M. javanica (Treub) Chitwood]. Truhart-NR was developed as a replacement for Truhart Perfection, a widely-adapted and long popular pimento-type cultivar that is highly susceptible to root-knot nematodes. A backcross breeding procedure was used to incorporate the dominant resistance gene into a Truhart Perfection genetic background. The donor parent of the resistance gene was Mississippi Nemaheart and the recurrent parent was Truhart Perfection. Mississippi Nemaheart is the product of a recurrent backcross breeding program that utilized Truhart Perfection as the recurrent parent, but it was never utilized widely by industry because it was considered by many to produce a weak plant. Truhart-NR was derived from a single BC2F3 plant grown in 2006. Truhart-NR is quite similar in appearance and maturity to Truhart Perfection. It has an erect plant habit and produces heart-shaped, dark red fruit. The results of replicated field studies indicate that the fruit and yield characteristics of Truhart-NR are superior to those of Truhart Perfection. Over a two year period, Truhart-NR yielded an average of 16.7% more marketable fruit than did Truhart Perfection (15,116 kg/ha vs. 12,957 kg/ha, respectively). Truhart-NR fruit were also 6.9% heavier, 6.2% longer, and exhibited 4.3% thicker fruit walls. A typical Truhart-NR fruit has three locules, weighs 67.8 g, is 5.64 cm wide x 7.36 cm long, and has 4.41 mm thick fruit walls. The root-knot nematode resistant Truhart-NR is particularly recommended for use by organic farmers and growers of specialty crops because these segments of the pepper industry do not have easy access to alternative production sites or the needed nematicides and nematicide application equipment. Truhart-NR should perform well in all areas where Truhart Perfection has been grown successfully.